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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: Pelosi’s Focus on Needed Reforms Instead of Impeachment is Sound Strategy

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from his blog:

Let’s Face It, Nancy Pelosi Is Pretty Smart

I know a lot of people are annoyed that Pelosi is not leading the charge to impeach Trump….but really any sober consideration of the evidence would lead one to conclude she is doing the right thing. Instead. she had concentrated on uniting her caucus to pass progressive bills that, for sure, will not become law but do force GOP members to cast potentially costly votes against the bills.

Perry Bacon, Jr. has the goods on 538:

“Pelosi has outlined an agenda of nine signature bills. Democrats have approved six of them. And Pelosi’s agenda, unlike impeachment, is popular with the public; it unites congressional Democrats and to some extent divides congressional Republicans. And these bills, as opposed to impeaching Trump, align well with what appears to be Pelosi’s broader strategy: to force GOP incumbents to vote against popular legislation in advance of the 2020 elections, protect Democrats in closely divided districts from tough votes, and keep the Democrats talking about and doing things that the public likes.

Five of the bills passed without a single ‘no’ vote from a Democrat. A bill to expand background checks to nearly all gun sales drew two “no” votes among Democrats — both from members who represent districts won by Trump in 2016. That’s more than 1,200 total “yes” votes for the Pelosi agenda among Democratic House members, compared with two “no” votes….

The key planks in the bills all have the support of the majority of the public — and some of them (like expanding background checks for gun sales) are extremely popular, according to polls….

[A]s Pelosi faces an increasingly vocal faction of her party pushing for impeachment, the speaker has a pretty strong anti-impeachment argument: Why should Democrats push a fairly unpopular position with no chance of success when they can instead push forward equally fruitless but at least popular positions?

Her view might carry the day. Lots of House Democrats might ultimately support impeaching Trump if it were to come up for a vote. But only about a quarter of them are pushing for it now. The rest are tacitly approving of Pelosi’s strategy — and it’s not surprising that a bunch of politicians approve of a strategy that looks so good politically.”

In short, Nancy Pelosi is doing her job and doing it well. We’ll just have to get rid of Trump the old-fashioned way–by voting him out of office. And by steering her party away from divisive issue of impeachment, Pelosi is increasing the chances of accomplishing that goal.

One comment on “Teixeira: Pelosi’s Focus on Needed Reforms Instead of Impeachment is Sound Strategy

  1. Candace on

    Pelosi has said her current strategy is based on the last election, but in 2018 Trump wasn’t on the ticket asking for 4+ years, the Mueller report hadn’t come out and it wasn’t known that when it did, Democratic leadership would state that it was fruitless to try to do anything about it because Republicans. You wonder what kind of results in votes this current cautious approach is going to have

    “Instead of leading the charge to impeach Trump “she had concentrated on uniting her caucus to pass progressive bills that, for sure, will not become law”

    Pelosi is protecting the president from being impeached so she can focus on passing bills that for sure will not become law?
    You can really feel the enthusiasm this is generating for the Democratic Party.

    “Why should Democrats push a fairly unpopular position with no chance of success when they can instead push forward equally fruitless but at least popular positions?”

    What sort of advertisement is “no chance of success” and “equally fruitless” for how Democrats view their abilities to solve problems?

    And checking a box says nothing about why you have that opinion or how committed you are to it, so arguing that choosing what to focus on and what to avoid based on percentages=popularity= passion is not only a falsehood but a self defeating approach that says Democrats believe they are unable to persuade anyone by their arguments, they cant handle the heat, and that republicans are in charge.

    Using popularity or percentages of for and against as reasoning in this situation is also another way of saying that you make your decisions about Trump based in politics which helps Republican spin about the results of the report, the reason for the investigations and the Pelosi agenda listed here which does include not impeaching Trump.

    Reply

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